Monthly Archives: October 2013

Steps to Holiness

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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For many, entering into a life of holiness and separation unto the Lord may appear to be a mystery. But this need not be so. Like all the other blessings and requirements in the Christian’s life, all it requires is a simple act of faith.

The first step of entering into holy living is to rediscover the full work of the cross. God has provided not only for us to be saved from the penalty of sin on Calvary, but He also provided for us to have victory over sin on a day-to-day basis. Every Christian needs to study this great truth in Romans 6 through 8 until it becomes reality in his or her daily life. The normal Christian life God has ordained for each of us is one of triumph over the world, the flesh and the devil.

To begin living this pure, separated lifestyle, we must recognize we are not our own, that we are bought with a price; and blood was the price the Lord paid for us. He has purchased us and has a right to control us in the same sense a slave has no right to his own life. A believer must come to the place of reckoning he is totally dead with Christ—crucified with Him and living no more for self. Now we live every minute and second to please our Master. We are His; we belong to Him, body and soul and spirit.

Second, holiness requires waiting on God. Without spending time in the presence of the Holy One, no one can become holy—for God alone is the source of all holiness. We need to control our television sets and the other idols that are binding us and keeping us away from the presence of the Lord and His written Word. Give up the secret sins that are enslaving you, and reclaim the areas in your life that have been given over to the Enemy.

Put Satan on notice that all the claims he has on your life have been settled by Christ’s blood on the cross and that you have recognized you are free from sin. Tell him you have turned yourself completely over to the Lord.

Third, confess and repent from all known sin. Be sure you have purged yourself from any claims the Enemy still might have on you through habits in your life. Make a list of everything the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, small or big, that you need to turn away from. These could be people or habits or even your thought life and that which feeds it such as books, videos or the Internet. Anything the Holy Spirit brings to your mind must go. Give the Lord time to turn His spotlight on those areas that are keeping you from growing closer to Him.

Excerpt from Chapter 12 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

Be Holy As I Am Holy

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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The New Testament warns us that in the end times, there will be those who will come teaching a gospel that is not the Gospel at all, presenting a “christ” that is not Christ (2 Corinthians 11:4).

And I believe that what we see already happening today—and much more that will soon come upon us—is a direct result of the past decades of false teaching. We have been brainwashed with what Dietrich Bonhoeffer originally called the “cheap grace” gospel. As a result, we are in ruin in our individual lives and families, as well as in our churches.

I fear for the nation and people whose Christian churches have forsaken holiness and separation from sin and the world.

This is a new gospel that is really half of the Gospel. It correctly portrays the wonderful love and forgiveness of God, but it downplays the need for confession, repentance and changed living. Most of all, it virtually ignores the ongoing work of the cross in our everyday lives.

Because of it, we are now blinded to hundreds of scriptures that teach practical holiness in everyday living. This false gospel ignores the very teachings of our Lord and Savior! Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

The Bible says the Lord Jesus Christ is coming for a Bride that is holy and pure and spotless. He is not coming for a harlot church. He is coming for a holy people who are walking the narrow road as He walked.

I believe Revelation 18:4 is a very relevant verse to our churches today. Listen to it: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

God is calling for total separation and holy living from His people—just as He always has throughout every generation and dispensation. God does not change. The commandment the Lord gives to His people is always to “be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Excerpt from Chapter 10 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

Sacrifice Made Practical

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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The Orient is filled with the graves of missionaries from past generations who went out to the field, knowing full well that it was unlikely that they would ever return. Some, like the Moravian brethren, sold themselves into slavery in order to enter closed lands. One couple voluntarily entered exile in a leper colony, knowing that it would cost them their freedom and eventually their lives.

As we read the stories of missionary heroes, there is a tendency to dismiss their sacrifices as something that can only happen in another place and time. But that just isn’t true. If we permit the Lord to lead us, He will allow us to share in the fellowship of His sufferings wherever we are.

For example, there are quiet men and women working behind the scenes at secular jobs—but living to help support missions. They cannot go personally, but they are able to sponsor others. I think these are the real unsung heroes of missions today. Often they are known only to God. These are the people who willingly sacrifice to save whatever money they can for the work of the Lord. They may get no glory in this world, but the Bible says they are serving Christ as effectively as any frontline warrior; and they are promised their reward.

There are many practical ways that you can enter into this fellowship of suffering without leaving the shores of your nation. Wherever you are, there is a cross for you to bear. God has a path of sacrifice for each one of us if we will ask Him for the privilege of self-denial.

Sacrifice and suffering for Christ all depend on how we choose to give our time and finances. Every one of us can at least find ways to give more time and more money to the kingdom of God if we will review our lifestyles.

The first step usually involves giving up the normal demands of our bodies for food and sleep in order to pray for others—situations, countries, peoples, tribes and the missionaries who are reaching out to them.

By fasting for a meal or giving up an evening of television, it is remarkable how much time you can make for the work of world-changing intercessory prayer. There are other strategic ways, of course, to volunteer time for missions, but none is as important as the work of prayer.

Excerpt from Chapter 9 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

The Great Exchange

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. . . . So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:8–10, 12).

Are modern evangelicals the only Christians in history to experience the power of the Living God without paying a personal price?

No, I believe that God’s ways are still the same. There is still a cross for each of us. There is still a path of suffering and sacrifice for every Christian who wants to manifest Christ.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not promoting asceticism or the self-infliction of wounds. There are still flagellants in the Philippines and many other countries who practice this heresy today, but that is not the mystery of suffering the Bible teaches.

True Christian suffering comes because we live for God and are serving the expansion of His kingdom. It is a positive sacrifice for the good of others. It is not a morbid, introspective act that one does to oneself to feel or become spiritual.

Paul was betrayed, hated, rejected, insulted, persecuted and distressed. Like the other apostles and millions of Christians down through the ages, he eventually suffered martyrdom for his belief in Christ.

But in all his writings, Paul seems to accept this life of terrible suffering and sacrifice as normal and necessary. “Death works in us,” he reasoned, that life might come to others.

I will never forget the day I learned the meaning of these words.

Every year we try to take small groups of Church leaders to visit indigenous missionary teams in India and other critical Asian nations. On one such trip, a missionary welcomed our group at the airport. One look convinced me that something was terribly wrong with him. He looked emaciated, weak and sick—especially next to our robust, overweight guests.

“What’s wrong, brother?” I asked.

He answered with just one sentence: “Death works in me, and life in them.”

Tears came uncontrollably to my eyes as I recognized the allusion to Apostle Paul’s rationale for suffering in 2 Corinthians 4:12. I discovered that this brother had been traveling to visit the missionaries without proper food and rest for nearly a month. He was just skin and bones!

He was making a conscious choice to deny the normal, minimum needs of his body for the sake of others’ souls. For life to come to one, death must come to another. This is the biblical exchange from Genesis to Revelation. Somebody always pays the price, entering into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. That’s the way the Gospel is always pioneered into new areas, unreached villages and lost tribes. As valuable as broadcasting and literature are, they are only long-range artillery in this war. The foot soldier of the cross must always go in to establish the Church by self-sacrifice and suffering. The exchange must take place.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

No Pain, No Gain

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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“No pain, no gain” applies to world evangelism as well as exercise programs! Until we can accept suffering, sacrifice and self-denial as routine and normal, we will never see the Great Commission fulfilled in our generation.

Jesus never apologized for calling His disciples to a life of self-denial. It is interesting to see the way He handled this teaching with those who offered to follow Him.

He promised homelessness. We read in Luke 9:57 of an individual who bragged that he would follow Jesus wherever He would go. But apparently he turned back when Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).

He promised broken relationships. Another man said he would go but needed to bury his father first. Jesus replied, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60).

He promised separation and loneliness. A third would-be disciple said, “Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” Jesus replied, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

It is obvious that Jesus will have no one among His followers who is wanting to put comfort, family ties or security in this world ahead of His kingdom. Jesus is saying, in effect, “I offer you what I have—hardship, hunger, labor, loneliness, rejection, sweat, tears and death. I’m a stranger and pilgrim in this world, and if you follow Me, you’ll have to break away from the clinging attachments of this present life.”

The Gospels give another example. A rich young ruler wanted to follow Jesus and asked what he would have to do to inherit the kingdom. Jesus replied simply, “Go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor.” The young man walked away sad.
Jesus obviously loved him. It must have hurt to see the young man go. But in this case and in all the other similar stories, you never once see Jesus going after these would-be disciples. There is no effort to pacify them or modify and soften the uncompromising demands of the cross. It is either “give up everything and follow Me” or “don’t come at all.”

This is still the price of following Christ today just as it was then.

Excerpt from Chapter 7 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.